As a child I have always held the belief that ‘Family Comes First.’ I have always lived that way & even considered a ‘value’ worth having.
Little by little family members grow up, each sibling has a family of their own & they each have their own priorities. As the expression goes ‘that’s life!’ But somehow I still held on to the believe that family comes first. If I had a conflict in schedule between a family event or a personal event, the family event won – no questions asked. Of course over the years friends saw this & they went their seperate ways, loves I’ve had were envious & also went their way. Sitting alone I pondered if I’ve made the right decision, along came one of my sister to offer a shoulder to cry on & I knew I have.
Over the years and over the days. Weeks come & go like the wind. The winds of last few years have been tough. The economy, the bickering & the death of our mother has torn us apart. And my family, like the sand on the beach, some gather up in dunes & some wash away. My believe of ‘family comes first’ has withered away. Now all I can do is dream of days gone by.
But that dream and desire still exists in me. I long for a close knit family & maybe naively I still live like ‘family comes first’ even though that is not the way some of my siblings feel. So I hold on steadfast.
I remember when my father-in-law had a stroke, my wife & I took care of him. Rushing him to the hospital in the late-night hours due to an emergency, Mercy would go & I took care of the homefront – we worked as a team. I have had to change my daily plans to be there for my wife & her father. It was tough, but I did it – not as a sacrifice – but because family comes first. He lived with us, in our home on a hospital bed unable to move or communicate for seven months. We cared for him. It was not easy, but it was not a drudgery. This is what families do – be there for each other – right?
I am reminded of all the times that he came to my rescue, night or day. Anytime – I knew we could always count on him. He already knew that family comes first. So when it was time to care for him my thought is – It is the least I could do!
Even yesterday! My wife’s car broke down. I was not at home nor nearby to help her, but my brother & her best-cousin were there! They went no questions asked! No matter the distance or the inconvenience – They were there.
Even though it does not look like it used to, I still hold my believe that my family will believe in ‘family comes first.’ Yes my hope flickers like the message alert on my cell phone. Silently blinking. Patiently waiting to be noticed. But I still hold it as a value worth having.
On this day before Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks for my family. The way they are and the way that they are not – in my life.